READINGS for 2008-06-26

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” – Matthew 7:25
Three little pigs built their respective houses to protect them from the rain and cold of winter.
The first pig built a straw hut. The second pig built a wooden house. The third and wisest pig made a brick house.
“It takes time, patience and hard work to build a house that is strong enough to stand up against the wind, rain, snow and the big bad wolf,” the wisest pig remarked.
One day, the wisest pig spotted the tracks of a big wolf in their neighborhood. Alarmed, the pigs rushed to each of their houses.
We all know what happened. The houses made of straw and wood collapsed when the wolf blew into their houses. But the house made of bricks didn’t budge an inch. The wolf left them. And the little pigs, who all ran to the brick house for shelter, were safe.
The big bad wolf represents the storms in our life — trials, difficulties, temptations, etc. If we are not founded on the Lord, we can get easily blown away. Our faith and hope are shattered. We get discouraged and then give up. But if we have our foundation in Christ, we will remain undaunted for we know that after every storm, peace follows. Judith Concepcion
How strong is your foundation?
“Jesus, You’re my firm foundation. I know I can stand secure… I put my hope in Your holy Word.” (from the song “Firm Foundation”)


Exile has come to the Northern Kingdom and they are taken off to Babylon. What a tragedy it is that they never listened to the countless times the prophets preached repentance to them. However, I suppose that is the way of sin. Once habits are established they are very difficult to break. If we have established habits of sin in our lives, it is time to submit them to the Lord and have them broken. This can be a painful process but it is better than eternal exile from the presence of God.
2 Kings 24:8-17
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his forebears had done. 10 At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, himself arrived at the city while his servants were besieging it. 12 Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother, his ministers, officers, and functionaries, surrendered to the king of Babylon, who, in the eighth year of his reign, took him captive. 13 He carried off all the treasures of the temple of the LORD and those of the palace, and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel, had provided in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had foretold. 14 He deported all Jerusalem all the officers and men of the army, ten thousand in number, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None were left among the people of the land except the poor. 15 He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, and also led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother and wives, his functionaries, and the chief men of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also led captive to Babylon all seven thousand men of the army, and a thousand craftsmen and smiths, all of them trained soldiers. 17 In place of Jehoiachin, the king of Babylon appointed his uncle Mattaniah king, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Psalm 79:1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9
R: For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. 2 They have given the corpses of your servants as food to the birds of heaven, the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth. (R) 3 They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them. 4 We have become the reproach of our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us. 5 O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire? (R) 8 Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. (R) 9 Help us, O God our savior, because of the glory of your name; deliver us and pardon our sins for your name’s sake. (R)
We will be judged by the fruit of our lives and not what we have said or promised we would accomplish. This is what James means when he tells us that faith without works is dead. What good is faith if there are no good works or life of virtue to back it up? It is mere hypocrisy and repugnant to God. Let us pursue a life that displays faiththrough tangible actions.
Matthew 7:21-29
21 Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ 24 “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” 28 When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
my reflections
think:Is my faith visible in the things I do?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


There is nothing worse that could happen to a builder or architect than to realize that the building just completed does not have the proper foundations. It is probably cheaper to tear the building down and begin again than to try to shore up the original but insufficient foundations. Just imagine how much money has been spent on ensuring that the Leaning Tower of Pisa does not eventually topple over. Even taking into account the change in the cost of materials and wages, I would be willing to bet that the cost of the original tower has been spent many times over just ensuring that it remains as one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.
The same is true for our spiritual lives. We can take shortcuts and build our spiritual lives on foundations that are incapable of supporting a mature Christian life, or we can take the time and effort and build well from the beginning. Many newly converted or renewed Christians are so fired up that they want to launch into all sorts of ministries and service. However, they are rarely ready for the difficulties and trials. For example, every seminarian will tell you that the formation for priesthood is long and tedious. But the Church knows that the life of a priest is not an easy one and that it is necessary to test the vocation thoroughly. Ultimately, after a few years of priesthood, I think most priests are grateful for the lengthy  time of discernment and formation. I even think that it would have been good if there were a few more issues addressed or courses to be taken.
At the same time, it is important not to completely withdraw a person from ministry and service. The architect and builder always have the completed house before them in the blueprints and in their minds to encourage them towards the final goal. In the spiritual life, it is healthy to have a mix of formation and ministry so that the individual does not get too inwardly focused and lose sight of the final goal. Fr. Steve Tynan
Reflection Question:
Have I laid good foundations in my spiritual journey with  God or was I too impatient with the basics, and now find that my spiritual life rests on somewhat shaky foundations?
Jesus, You did not rush into ministry. You lived a normal human life for about 30 years before beginning Your mission in earnest. Grant me the grace to build a solid spiritual life so that the temptations of the world will not lead me astray.
St. Louise De Marillac, pray for us.

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